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Haven’t Seen the Film, Haven’t Read the Comic: Sony Buys Comic “Descender” Before it Hits the Shelves

So I don’t know if you noticed, but space is getting cool again in Hollywood. Going off-world to  make a mainstream film has always been a trend that goes in peaks and troughs, riding on the waves made by 2001Apollo 13 and Armageddon and then fizzling out after a year or two.  Most recently, Gravity and Interstellar have ushered in the latest wave, making themselves all the more prominent in the ongoing award circus. Now we have word from Deadline tat Sony has bought the rights to sci-fi comic book with the hopes of riding that wave a little while longer. The worry? This comic hasn’t even been released yet.

Descender (not to he confused with ongoing space TV show Ascension) follows the interstellar journey of a childlike robot named TIM-21, who is seeking out a new life and a new home for himself somewhere in the universe, only to be hated and hunted by most of the people living in it. Why? Because something in TIM-21’s DNA holds the secret to the origin of a certain robot species that may have wiped out a whole lot of life on a whole lot of planets. Fortunately, the little robotic dickens doesn’t have to face this aggression alone, and cobbles together an unlikely group of buddies to help him on his travels.

A poster for "Descender". We won't be seeing a movie poster for quite a while, though.
A poster for “Descender”. We won’t be seeing a movie poster for quite a while, though.

The comic is put together by Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen, who would have gotten a serious shock when they got a movie option before their comic is even in stores. Lemire and Nguyen had this to say:

“It was a competitive situation for Descender, and we are thrilled that it ended with Sony Pictures acquiring the series…We know that their film translation will do justice to the original comics, and we are thrilled with their belief in the franchise potential.”

Competitive eh? Must be one hell of a comic. This is a bold move for Sony, but with so many unique and unusual projects changing hands and getting sold at Sundance this year, it’s unlikely that Sony would pass up the chance to get in on that market. I’m not saying that Descender will be an indie film, but it will definitely be different.

The whole thing sounds sweet and sprawling and unlike any mainstream sci-fi films out there (usually the adorable robot has some ongoing connection to earth). You can find out more about it when the comic actually arrives on March 4th from Image comics. Josh Bratman is set to produce the film for Sony.

Are you down with Descender?